Algeria has once again shrunk from responsibility towards the Western Sahara conflict after the Security Council mentioned the country in Resolution 2440.
The resolution has, for the first time, included Algeria, calling on the country to “work constructively” with the personal envoy for Western Sahara to find an agreed upon and mutually acceptable solution to the conflict.
Algeria says in its statement that it “took note” of the Security Council resolution renewing MINURSO’s mandate for six months.
In an attempt to deny responsibility in the conflict, Algeria’s ministry wrote that the Security Council “again calls upon the two parties to the conflict, which it has clearly identified, namely Morocco and the Polisario Front, to resume direct negotiations without preconditions and in good faith.”
Algeria’s statement, however, ignored the resolution paragraph calls on Algeria to show commitment to the UN-led political process.
The resolution also expects all parties—the main and neighboring countries to the conflict—to come to round-table talks in Geneva December 5-6.
The round-table was an initiative proposed by the UN Personal Envoy, Horst Kohler.
Resolution 2440 mentioned Kohler’s invitations, saying that it “notes that invitations to an initial roundtable meeting in Geneva on 5 and 6 December 2018 were sent on 28 September 2018, welcomes that Morocco, the Frente Polisario, Algeria, and Mauritania have responded positively, and encourages them to work constructively with the Personal Envoy, in the spirit of compromise, throughout the duration of this process to ensure a successful outcome.”
Although Algeria accepted Kohler’s invitation, the country considers itself an “observer party.”
In its statement, Algeria further reiterated that it “remains convinced that only a direct, frank and fair negotiation between Morocco and the Polisario is likely to lead to a definitive solution.”
The statement backs similar positions voiced by Algerian officials, including Algeria’s Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia.
Morocco, however, firmly believes Algeria plays an important role in continuing the conflict.